Local people help homeless children | NevadaAppeal.com

Local people help homeless children

by: Teri Vance

A ninth-grade Carson City girl can now hear her teacher, thanks to a donation from a resident who bought her a hearing aid.

“If she can’t hear, how’s she going to learn?” asked Kim Riggs, the coordinator for the Homeless Program through the Carson City School District.

Riggs, who has been the program coordinator for three years, said this year the program has received a record number of donations.

She said the first year the program received about $300. By this year, it has climbed to about $9,000.

“The first year, I don’t think people knew we existed,” Riggs said. “Now people like to help out because they know their donations go to local children.”

People also have more money this year.

“I think the economy has really helped out,” she said. “There’s a big influx of money this year.”

The program is designed to identify children within the school system who do not have a permanent residence.

The children are given special assistance, including a trip to the Clothing Closet, where they choose three outfits.

The clothes are donated, or Riggs buys items using donated money.

The program also received a federal grant of $10,000 this year.

However, Riggs said the grant would not cover all of the costs.

She explained that if she would have asked her boss for the money to buy the hearing aid, she would have been told to send the girl to another agency.

The extra money ensures that all needs can be met, she said.

In fact, she said that there is probably one donor to match each child in the program.

“They really care about the kids,” Riggs said.

Riggs said that any kind of donations are needed.

“You wouldn’t believe how excited the kids get over shampoo and toothbrushes,” she said.

The program is headed by Valerie Dockery, grants coordinator for the school district.